Charlie Romo: Roman Candle: The Ultimate Bobby Darin Experience

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Charlie Romo

Roman Candle: The Ultimate Bobby Darin Experience

The Green Room 42, NYC, June 28, 2019

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Charlie Romo
Photo: Stephen Sorokoff

Charlie Romo was Bobby Darin in his show Roman Candle: The Ultimate Bobby Darin. Backed by a swinging seven-piece band, Romo’s big booming sound captured the excitement of seeing Darin perform at the Copacabana in the 1960s. Dressed sharply in a tuxedo, Romo performed almost all of Darin’s hits, note for note, as Darin performed them. The dynamic Romo was in constant motion, adding to the excitement. The title of the show was borrowed (with permission) from David Evaneir’s biography of Darin. Between musical numbers, Romo mixed interesting anecdotes and biographical information taken from the book.

The show opened with a very energetic, super-fast “Hello, Young Lovers.” Romo seemed to be floating on stage for “Beyond the Sea.” A story about Darin befriending popular disc jockey Murray the K (Kaufman) led into Romo’s performance of Darin’s first big hit co-written with Kaufman, “Splish Splash.” The singer accompanied himself on piano for “Dream Lover.” He told of how Darin transformed himself from a rock-and-roll singer to a Sinatra-type vocalist before performing the title song of Darin’s first album “That’s All,” which was followed by a rousing performance of Darin’s biggest hit, “Mack the Knife.” Darin was married to movie star Sandra Dee, and Romo performed a medley of songs written by Darin for the films he starred in with Dee. After recalling Darin’s friendship with Robert F. Kennedy and his transformation into a folk singer in the late 1960s, Romo performed a rousing “Simple Song of Freedom.

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” He closed the show as Darin did with the poignant “The Curtain Falls.

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” His encore, a lively up-tempo “Once In a Lifetime” left the SRO crowd cheering.

Ron Forman

Ron Forman has been a Mathematics Professor at Kingsborough Community College for 45 years. In that time, he has managed to branch out in many different areas. From 1977 to 1994 he was co-owner of Comics Unlimited, the third largest comic book distribution company in the USA. In 1999,after a lifetime of secretly wanting to do a radio program, he began his weekly Sweet Sounds program on WKRB 90.3 FM, dedicated to keeping the music of the Great American Songbook alive and accessible. This introduced him to the world of cabaret, which led to his position as a reviewer for Cabaret Scenes.